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'Global Studies' Rebrands as High School for Digital Arts and Cinema

By Nikhita Venugopal | August 19, 2016 2:20pm | Updated on August 22, 2016 8:43am
 Dawn Meconi, the principal of Digital Arts & Cinema Technology High School at 284 Baltic St.
Dawn Meconi, the principal of Digital Arts & Cinema Technology High School at 284 Baltic St.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

BOERUM HILL — Over the last few years, Brooklyn School for Global Studies has turned itself into a different school. 

Six years ago, the low-performing school was labeled a "transformation" school that received federal funds for its improvement. In 2013, Global Studies was taken off that list and deemed in good standing after graduation rates and test scores saw marked progress.

Now the school is gearing for another big change — as of July 1 the "Global Studies" name has been shed and the school will begin the new academic year as Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School, its principal Dawn Meconi said in an interview this week.

Students will be able to choose one of two sequences when they enroll — cinema production or digital arts — and continue on that track through high school. 

"We looked at ourselves and what we did well," said Meconi, who became principal of the school in 2013, "and naturally we had an inclination towards our arts program."

At school fairs, Meconi said they would often get the question, "Why are you called Global Studies?" 

"We came up with a very good answer," she said. "We do prepare our students to be global citizens and compete in the global marketplace. But what did that mean?"

Formerly a sixth through 12th grade school, Global Studies began the process of gradually cutting its middle school grades last year. DNAinfo New York previously reported that an error was made during the elimination of the sixth grade.

Meconi said the error was only "procedural" and the school had informed parents of its plans to enter the school year without a sixth grade.

"Procedurally it wasn't done the right away. There are steps and we got ahead of ourselves as a system," she said.

With a student population of 210, the school — which shares the 284 Baltic St. building with School for International Studies, Success Academy Cobble Hill and P.S. 368 — will enter the upcoming year with grades 8 to 12. By the 2017-2018 school year, it will serve only as a high school.

The school is also slated to begin new partnerships with BRIC and Brooklyn Arts Council, both of which will send teaching artists into the school, allow students to use their studios and provide after-school programs.

The focus on digital arts and cinema is not entirely new for the school, Meconi said. Even under Global Studies, upper grades could take film electives as well as classes in technology, art and design.

"It made sense because we're in a digital technology age," she said. "I feel like that's the current and the future."